Former President of Barcelona, Juan Laporta believes Barcelona can keep hold of Lionel Messi despite their current financial problems, adding that the club captain is “not only focused on money”.
Laporta was previously president at Camp Nou from 2003 to 2010, overseeing the early years of Messi’s career, and is now seeking a further term at the helm.
The Catalan giants were plunged into a financial crisis by the coronavirus pandemic and it has meant pay levels have been restructured.
Messi is the club’s top earner, but as he approaches the end of his contract, which expires in 2021, there are doubts over whether he will renew.
The club’s all-time record scorer wanted to leave before the 2020-21 season and may again tell Barcelona he intends to depart, although Laporta dearly wants the Argentine forward to stay.
Laporta says other clubs may have more money to tempt Messi, but they do not have the kinship with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner that would make a split so difficult to bear.
“We will use all our skills to keep Messi with us,” Laporta told Radio Marca.
“Leo is not only focused about money. It will be a good economic proposal, but we will not reach what other clubs can offer.
“I have a very good relationship with Leo. He wants Barcelona. I am convinced that he is looking forward to a proposal from the new president.
“It is going to be based mainly on a competitive squad that can win the Champions League. If I make this proposal, I will fulfil it; I am lucky to have Leo’s credibility.
“Now is not the time to talk about Messi, and for that I have to be president.”